Masters of the Universe Classics News Round-Up

A few things of note today.

First off, today is the last day to subscribe to Club Filmation and pre-order Castle Grayskull. In an unrelated coincidence today is also the first day that the Tamashii Web Shop is taking pre-orders for the S.H.MonsterArts Godzilla 1964 (though if you live in the States and want it, you’re much better off ordering it via PGPoA sponsor ToyFreakz).

I remain firm in my decision not to subscribe to Club Filmation. As for Castle Grayskull, apparently there’s been quite a controversy brewing over its small size, so much that Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich, the brand manager for the line, felt the need to make a statement, the text of which is after the jump.

Hey He Fans and She Ravers,

With a lot going on right now (Filmation, Castle, end of the Mayan Calendar etc…) I wanted to try and reach out and clear the air. Their are a lot of posts floating around and some concern that I hope I can clear up.

End of the Mayan calendar? Wasn’t that three months ago?

First off. Loud and clear. I know some fans/customers want the Castle to be larger or at the least as large as the initial B-sheet and foam model and dimensions given on the Castle’s pre sale page. Now to bring this to the “legal base level” we did make it clear on the pre sale page that all size dimensions were estimates and subject to change. The Castle from day one has been an unprecedented project. I mean come on, selling in a 6″ playset from a drawing B sheet? Who does that? And having a fan base strong enough to make this a reality? Only He-Fans are that strong!

I think Scott would be better served by using the “why can’t you just appreciate what we’re already doing” angle. When people are spending $250+ on a toy in this economy – no matter how badly they’ve wanted said toy – that kind of argument is irritating at best.

I wish we could make the Castle bigger, I really do. And I totally understand some fans/customers want this as well. Bottom line, is that based on the price of $250.00, the current sculpt is 100% the biggest we can get. Yes. It is an inch or two smaller than the dimensions given at presale. And 100% we still expect some changes to happen (not necessarily to the size but possibly to some of the accessories). We are committed to making sure to update everyone as the process continues to be as upfront as possible on any changes coming through.

This is all fine, in my opinion. Fair, honest and without anything that could be perceived as nagging or defensive.

In no way is anyone trying to hoodwink or scam anyone. As I said. This entire process is very unprecedented  Change is inevitable. The Castle will continue to evolve but everyone working on it from me, to the Horsemen to Ruben and Mario from design and so forth are completely committed to delivering the best playset we possibly can. In no way do we expect to please 100% of the fans. With fans as passionate as MOTU fans, no one expects to do that. We are not secretly trying to bring down the brand. (never seem to understand where that comes from to tell you the truth!) Why would I do anything to prevent more cool MOTU collector product from being made? After all, I am a collector too you know!

Getting a little defensive…

And I know my answers can many times come across as “corporate”. A lot of that is just circumstantial. Many of my answers have to go thorough the “PR machine” and get approved. I try to joke it up when I can (like mentioning that the Flag can be placed in your fridge) but if my tone offends anyone, please just know that I don’t have 100% control over messaging even I put out. If we are saying “no” to fan suggestions, it doesn’t mean we disagree with the suggestion, it often just means it is just not something possible.

…and back to plain honesty, which is, again, appreciated.

I often wish I had a magic wand and could just make the perfect toy happen. As is; we are fighting day in and day out to make the entire MOTUC line (including the Castle) the best it can be. I think when folks see the final model in San Diego, fears that the size is not up to snuff will be diluted  Those who were in person at NYTF (i.e. Val, Dan) have been pretty vocal that the castle is huge. Yes, it is slightly smaller vs the foam model, but that is just part of the toy making process.

And to reassure everyone that we are not trying to “pull a fast one” note that you can 100% cancel your order all the way through Aug 30 if in any way the ever-evolving playset does not meet your needs. (but note when you cancel, you can not then go back and reinstate, so do think carefully).

I didn’t know you could cancel your order, but I may have just missed it. Unless he’s just announcing this now.

In the end, this is going to be an amazing piece and I hope will please the majority of fans. We are actively working on the following changes from what was shown at NYTF:

1: Adding a slot in the throne for the Sorceress’ tail feathers.
2: Adding a slot/crack by the Jaw Bridge for the Power Sword (like in the mini comics)
3: Adding a key hole in the back door that fits Scareglow’s key
4: Lowering the Jaw Bridge door into the base for a taller opening

Beyond that, their just is not time or resources to make changes. We 100% hear fans on many suggestions, but when we say “no we can’t make that change” it is not meant as an insult, it is just letting fans/customers know that factually that change can’t be made. If I gave the impression that the model shown in NY was going to change, then bad on me. But to be clear now, there won’t be changes beyond what was shown and noted above. We hope everything shown in NY will be in the final toy, but their is always a chance things may change/get cut. If that does happen, we will be sure to let everyone know.

I think all of this makes sense. People who are told a change can’t be made and take it as an “insult” (if that is indeed happening) are being a tad unreasonable, I think. It’s not insulting, it’s just disappointing.

Looking ahead, boy do we have amazing things coming down! Club Filmation, SDCC exclusives (to be revealed in late Spring) and the 2014 line is shaping up well. I have worked with the team to create a new road-map that if we get a 2014 and 2015 line should wrap up the vintage lines and most of the major fan-requested animated figs. It doesn’t mean we won’t get to more in 2016 and beyond, but with rising costs we wanted to do all we can to get to the vintage line in the next two years.

A lot more is still to come in 2013. We won’t know more about 2014 until after the sub sell in at SDCC this summer. I’ll try to get on the boards this weekend and jump in on RGD if I can. We’ve got so much good stuff to look forward to, I am nothing but grinning ear to ear.

See you all on the boards!


So apparently some people feel like they’ve been given a bait-and-switch on Grayskull. I have to say I think it’s a victim of unrealistic expectations – people have wanted Castle Grayskull forever, and while it’s commendable that Mattel decided to do what they could to produce it, the costs were always going to make it a very difficult proposition and it’s not surprising if the end product doesn’t match the playset people have been dreaming of for five years. (And of course, customs like Joe Amaro’s amazing piece didn’t help lower those expectations.)

Honestly, you know what bugs me more than anything about the castle size? The fact that the bonus poster is a cross-sell, rather than a poster of Rudy Obrero’s awesome new Grayskull box art. Maybe he’ll get to sell it himself, though. Speaking of Rudy, I’ve got an interview with him (already in the can) that I really need to post!


Pic of the Day > Numemon by ridureyu


Pic of the Day > Masters of the Universe Classics – Jitsu by Ed Speir IV


  1. Could someone point me to some good recent photos of the Castle that show the smaller size?

    • Josh

      Try that out. It's only a fan mock-up based on measurements from ToyGuru. In his most recent video of Grayskull, TG compared the Castle from Toy Fair against the original and the 200x. The foam mock-up wasn't compared, probably due to the static over the size changes.

  2. Poe, Scott has made it known since the presentation at toy fair that the castle pre-order can be cancelled, in fact it can be cancelled as late as august (after the final castle is shown off at at sdcc, so people cancelling now I feel are jumping the gun slightly) Now I am in the design field (I am an architect) and I know that designs change all the time and rarely what is put on paper during the schematic design phase makes it through unchanged to the final constructed product so I am probably going to be more forgiving of this issue than some others. That doesn't mean I am happy its smaller, nor am I disappointed. I am glad it is what it is, if that makes any sense, I honestly didn't even think it was making the minimum pre-order requirement.

  3. Misterbigbo

    Just imagine if Scott had UNDERsold the castle as utter bare bones at first, then ADDED accessories and features at each con while NOT adding cost. I know, I know, a legion would still burn him in effigy as a liar, but man, it would be nice to see him get out in front of a controversy for a change.

    Also, please proofread your PR posts; consistent misspellings really eat away at your credibility.

    • ridureyu

      He does need to proofread his posts. Seeeeeeeriously.

      But if they had undersold the castle, he STILL would not come out ahead. See, it would be, "Scott LIED to us!" And then the "fans" would scream and cry and roll on the floor and stab themselves or whatever. Thing is, it does look like it's a small minority, regardless. They're just loud. I doubt this is because of cancelled preorders, and is instead more of a fan action because he's upset at the bad press. That, and I'm thinking a lot of people want to talk themselves out of buying the thing anyway, because it is a huge chunk of change.

      But the thing is, Scott should just follow suit of most toy companies, and quit being personal or showing that he cares. You can't win when you do that. Just let the impersonal PR team make their announcements, and apologize for nothing (like every other toy company). When you descend to the level of the mob, they will take every advantage they can get, and hate you for being generous.

    • Tribsaint

      First off, I'M so glad I stay away from all things Matty.

      Second, I'm not so sure under selling would have been so bad. Look at neca they have said forever that ed209 or Dutch was not in the cards. Then when they make it happen they are held up as the gold standard.

      Mattel is frankly to vocal. Scott enjoys the celebrity way to much. I have brother in law who works at the exec level in the movie business, doesn't tweet to fans or listen to the scuttle butt. If he need opinions he'll ask a few people and make the call. You never know what goes into the decision. where as Scott takes you step by step allowing the fan to second guess his work.

      Again glad I don't have a dog in this fight

    • I tried to edit out all the misspellings – did I miss something?

  4. ridureyu

    Like I said, complaining is okay, cancelling is okay, but there comes a point where people are so insane and overreact so much that they need to stop or go away because they're making everybody els eashamed to be part of the same fandom.

  5. ridureyu

    The money and space decided it for me beforehand… even based on the earlier specs, naaaah.

    Though granted, I would love to visit somebody who owns one.

  6. I decided the only way I would justify the money and space for this thing was if what they showed us totally blew me away. It looks like a solid attempt, but not spectacular, hence I'm abstaining. It looks like a decent way to display some figures, but it's just not "Masterpiece Greyskull" enough to justify the purchase.

  7. stack32

    I was never going to buy the Castle because of space constraints, but I was really surprised when the photos showed up and it was so small. The lost size would definitely have moved it from "I can make that work in a display" to "no way" for me. It's enough to make me wonder if Mattel intentionally overstated the size, hoping that people wouldn't cancel preorders later.

  8. muldertp

    I chose not to get the castle knowing the cost and my history with the company. Based on what I see, I’m glad I didn’t order, since it is not that different than the old castle.

    If I had ordered, those “one or two inches” that shrunk the castle would have made me cancel. The whole point is getting something the new toys fit in. This isn’t it, and that’s ok. No hard feelings…I’m just not buying what I don’t want anymore.

    • ridureyu

      Apparently, even with the smaller castle, new figures have more clearance and space in the castle than the old figures did in their castle…

  9. Big R

    I don't feel bad for Scott. The fandom is highly toxic, and it's obviously from frustration on getting stuff so close to perfect, "spoiled" by major cronyism and extreme cost cutting. He constantly shoots himself in the foot with that mouth of his. For every good thing he does, there's 10 bad. I'm not talking about design choices, character choices, or the size of the castle. Those types of arguments are petty and solve nothing. Its the dishonesty and the hardsell he does every single time he posts or speaks. The hucksterism, the need to push whatever he's selling that month, that's standard PR guy stuff. But almost every time something new and fan-demanded comes along, there's always something he says initially that turns out to be not true. The dude is a straight up liar, over and over again. Since Mattel doesn't release numbers, and doesn't show fans the "matty process of making a figure" he can always say "I didn't lie!" in a court of law, or the court of public opinion. Scott has proven to be very Roger Sweet esque in his ability to take credit for everything good and pass the buck on any and all problems fans bring up.

    And it's our fault as fans. Its everyone's. Because as a group we let Scott lie to our faces, without reprocussions. And because we complain more about stuff like Glimmer, or why there isn't enough NA backgrounders, etc. We complain more about cool gray vs. white, than our credit cards being charged three four times a month extra, or when subbers miss a figure. We let those much more serious mess ups go. Serious lies that fans were told in 2012 include stinkor's arms; frosta's arms; sorceress/fisto messups; Granymyr's QC; a price increase; and the Death of the Line Due to Lack of Fan Support.

    And what about that complete farce that was the 2012 sub drive last July. The line was "almost going to die" and we HAD to sub in order to save the line. "2013 is not a definite thing." Now, we have not only Castle Grayskull but an extra Filmation sub. Dying, huh? Because we all know Mattel sinks even more money and resources into lines with no media that are tanking. Scooter is straight up lying to all of our faces. And we do nothing. Except give them more money for another sub. You can re-watch the SDCC and Power Con panels and see EXACTLY what is up here and how true this is.

    Stuff like how tall the castle is and the removal/addition of the accessories is no biggie to me. I knew ahead of time that this was going to be a bare-bones castle and I'd be told anything to comit to a pre-order. I knew there'd be whiners at the .org and decided to stay away from there after I put my order in. At this point if you've subscribed to anything Matty before, or collected this line before 2012, you KNEW this type of game was bound to happen. If not, that's YOUR bad, not Scott's. We all know at this point this guy is a liar. He will say anything to get your card number for another year. You are the fool if you believe a liar. You do his job for him for free when you encourage others to sub. You are your own worst enemy in He-Man land…

    • ridureyu

      I wouldn't call anybody a liar when MAttel has always been very clear that, while they will make the castle as big as their budget will allow, it would probably shrink and lose accessories as they cost it out.

      See, they were honestr about that. Calling them liars? That's just delusional. The reaction has been bad enough that honestly, Mattel should just cancel the pre-orders of people who behave badly enough. Treat it like a restaurant that kicks out disruptive customers.

    • stack32

      I think you're being generous to say they made it "very clear" that the size might change. I just did some checking and definitely see it mentioned earlier when they posted the blueprints that the design might change and that the castle hadn't been sculpted, but they certainly don't give the impression that decreasing the size significantly was an option. I'm sure they gave themselves lots of legal room to maneuver so they're technically okay, but it seems to me they wanted people to think negative changes would mean lost accessories or simplified interior rather than shrinking the castle.

    • ridureyu

      I don't think I'm being that generous. "The design might change" is a pretty good statement. I mean, what, did they have to have a disclaimer saying "The castle might lose up to 2.75" of size before New York Toy Fair?" If they did, that wouldn't be seen as specific enough.

      It's like… remember when the pictures on the cardback of any toy would say "Colors and appearance may vary?" And sometimes they did, as those photos were of prototypes or paint masters. If that happened now, some people in the MOTUC fandom would be attempting class action lawsuits (I saw a lawsuit tried over paint apps on a toy before. it didn't even make it to trial), armed protests outside Mattel's headquarters, attempts on Scott Neitlich's life… okay, maybe some of those were exagerrations, though I have no doubt that Scott is going to get assaulted at a convention someday.

  10. Harrig

    I thought the core figures were due to wrap up in 2014, not 2015. I hope the Horde troopers appear this year, otherwise That WSOD will be my fate…

  11. clark

    I really feel bad for Scott a lot of times. He has definitely brought criticism on himself; but Andrew is correct that the fandom is incredibly toxic. I think that there is just an incredibly vocal, negative minority; but they are loud enough that they make it seem like MOTUC fans have their own place in the collecting community. I know collectors who aren't into MOTU see us as a bunch of whiners.
    I know that's not true, because there are plenty of MOTUC fans (many of whom have their own websites) who can take the bad with this line in stride, and still recognize that MOTUC is one of the coolest toylines out there (and I think it is absolutely the definitive He-man toyline).
    Nevertheless, the castle is too small for me to lay down that kind of money, but I still think it's going to be an amazing playset.

  12. The fandom reaction (from the vocal minority) has gotten so toxic now that I am ashamed to be in the same fandom.

    BTW, would you say that these toys are 6″ or 7″ scale?

    • Funny, I'm working on a post on just that question.

    • ridureyu

      I always assumed they were 6" scale, since they're under 7". Marvel Universe and DCU are 6" scale, and they're roughly the same height as these guys. But then, Revolceth is also 6", and those figures are shorter.

      But peopel are trying to claim that these toys are absolutely 7" and not a millimeter less as "proof" that Scott is "Lying," and trying to ruin the hobby.

    • The_Fun_has_been_Doubled

      It's not so much that they're trying to ruin the hobby, or that Scott is lying. What I perceive as the problem is that the castle seems to be made for figures that are smaller than MOTUC, if it's made for 6" Figures. If the doorway is 7" for 6" figures then that leaves some headroom. a 7" door for a 6.90"-ish figure doesn't leave enough headroom and makes the door look even smaller.

  13. Andrew

    C’mon, Poe – there’s no ‘if’ about people taking ‘no this change can’t be made’ as an insult. The fandom for this line has been incredibly toxic from day one, all the way back when the King Grayskull ‘con exclusive came out. Your peers at the old site were incredibly negative in reviewing that figure, and never let up.

    • Well, what gets me, of course, is that so many fans hated the Millennium line when it was first revealed. I got to know the Four Horsemen when they contacted me to thank me for defending the Millennium line.

      The Millennium line ended up appealing to a lot of collectors who hadn't been fans of MOTU. Many of them became diehard fans – not of MOTU, but of MOTU 200X. Those fans became a significant chunk of the fandom at and elsewhere. So when MOTUC was revealed, many of those fans were sorely disappointed. (And to be fair, there were plenty of longtime MOTU fans who loved Millennium and still prefer that aesthetic, like Rob Bricken of Topless Robot).

      I think the Grayskull thing is a bit different, though. It's not so much about dislike the design or aesthetic anymore. I just think there's now a sense of entitlement that, to be fair, shows up in every fandom (toylines, movie/television/novel franchises, etc.) once the honeymoon period is over.

      However, the sense of entitlement is only part of the story. This is a very expensive item, and Mattel was always going to be on tricky ground given how few details they've been able to offer all along, since they couldn't have the finished product ready in time for the pre-order. So this isn't really that unexpected. There are a lot of people on, and anything like a smaller size or fewer accessories than previously shown are going to make somebody mad.

    • ridureyu

      I understand the disappointment. It's the level of vitriol, the overreaction, and the complete inability to realize that "details are subject to change" MEANS just that.

  14. dasbookpimp

    Just goes to show you can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Or in Matty's case 25% of the time.

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